Landlord threw out ashes of tenant’s late husband, court hears

Julie Magee, who owed €7,300 in arrears, says landlord unlawfully entered property

A tenant, who owed €7,300 in rent arrears, told the Circuit Civil Court that her landlord unlawfully entered her property and threw out personal items, including an urn containing her late husband’s ashes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A tenant, who owed €7,300 in rent arrears, told the Circuit Civil Court that her landlord unlawfully entered her property and threw out personal items, including an urn containing her late husband’s ashes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A Dublin mother has told a court her landlord unlawfully entered her rented home and threw out personal items, including an urn containing the ashes of her late husband.

Julie Magee, who allegedly owed landlord Seamus O’Dowd more than €7,000 in rent arrears, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that she could replace other items of personal property but could not replace her husband’s ashes.

Barrister Úna Cassidy, counsel for the Private Residential Tenancies Board, (PRTB) said a Tenancy Tribunal last year awarded Ms Magee €500 for belongings she had lost when the landlord entered 11 Oak Avenue, Royal Oak, Santry, Co Dublin.

Ms Cassidy said the tribunal, which had heard an appeal by Ms Magee against a PRTB determination for possession of the premises, had not been satisfied there was an urn on the table when the landlord entered the house and removed certain items.

Rent arrears

Ms Cassidy told the judge that Ms Magee, otherwise known as Julie Keaton, owed landlord Seamus O’Dowd €7,300 in rent arrears. The tribunal had awarded Ms Magee €500 in damages, which reduced the figure to €6,800. This was reduced further by the landlord having been able to retain a one-month rental deposit of €1,550.

Ms Magee today told the court she had six children aged between two and 10. She said her landlord unlawfully entered the property and replaced the locks. Ms Magee said: “He threw out my husband’s ashes. I can replace everything else but I can’t replace his ashes.”

The judge granted the PRTB judgment on behalf of Mr O’Dowd of €5,250 against Ms Magee and her fellow respondent, partner Kieran Moans, with legal costs against them in favour of the board.